Davion Only-Going touched the world when he humbly stood in front of a Florida church at the age of 15 and pleaded for a family.
The sweet boy had spent his entire life in the foster care system after his mother gave birth to him behind bars.
Now the nineteen-year-old is celebrating two years of love and security after he found a permanent home with the Going family.
Davion was adopted by his caseworker Connie Going – the woman who first met him as a seven-year-old when she became his caseworker.
“I feel safe, and I feel like, you know, I just have people who care about me,” Davion Only-Going told ABC News.
“You just have this sense of freedom in that you just know that, no matter what, someone’s there for you and you have a support system.”
Davon has also gained two sisters, Sydney and Carley – who are Connie’s biological daughters and a brother, Taylor, who she adopted.
“I have my own room. I have my own things, and I know that, regardless, I don’t have to move them out,” he said. “They’ll always be there,” Davion said.
Something that we all from time to time take for granted.
Davion caught the world’s attention in 2013, when he made a public plea in front of St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church in St. Petersburg, Florida, for a family.
Davion had previously learned his birth mother’s name, but shortly afterwards made the heartbreaking discovery that she had died.
“I’ll take anyone,” he said in front of the church congregation. “Old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple — I don’t care.”
“And I would be really appreciative. The best I could be … I’m praying and still hoping. I know God hasn’t given up, and I’m not either.”
The national response was overwhelming.
Thousands of people made inquiries to adoption agencies seeking to make the teen part of their family.
Requests poured in from around the world, including Canada, India, Mexico, Australia, the U.K. and Iran.
In 2014, it felt like Davion had finally found a home in Ohio. But he was removed from the home after what the agency overseeing his adoption called ‘an altercation.’
Before he was placed with a new family in Florida, Davion asked Connie to adopt him.
When Davion was younger, he had wanted Connie to be his mother.
But for some time Connie, who is white, thought perhaps a two-parent black family would offer more stability to Davion.
“I kept thinking he deserved more,’ she says. ‘I guess that’s what I thought – I wasn’t good enough.”
Connie had adopted Taylor two years before Davion. He, too, had experienced failed adoption.
Connie didn’t even know it when she adopted Taylor, but her new son had lived with Davion in a group home during their time in the system – and the two had forged a close friendship.
‘We used to make paper guns together,’ Taylor said. ‘But they used to get taken away all the time. We would just make them again.’
By the time he was 12, Taylor had been in 47 foster homes and four group homes; Davion spent time in more than 30.
Connie has admitted that it has not always easy integrating Davion into her existing family, but she says it was worth it.
Connie started off by having Davion spend weekends.
Then eventually Connie took the steps to begin the adoption process. Davion then moved with the rest of the family into a larger home.
When asked why she wanted to adopt the teenager, Connie put her hand on Davion’s shoulder and told the judge: ‘I’ve always loved him, the same as my other children. My commitment to him is for his whole life.’
In April 2015, Going finalized the adoption.
“We’re a family,” Davion said. “We know that no matter what, we’re always going to be together … Our journey is really just beginning … I wouldn’t give my family up for anyone.”
Davion is saving money from his part-time job at Florida’s Tropicana Field as he finishes his high school degree.
He’s desperate for a Lamborghini – prompting hoots from his sister Carley and brother Taylor.
But if he can’t get a Lamborghini there’s always the Mustang he saw in a nearby used car lot, Davion concedes.
At the suggestion of Taylor, all four siblings and Connie designed tattoos for their right forearms which incorporates the international adoption logo.
A triangle intertwined with a heart, representing the birth mother, child and adoptive parents.
Since Davion’s adoption, the Goings have enjoyed a cruise to the Caribbean and a trip to the Florida springs, and the family is planning an upcoming visit to the Poconos.
The walls and shelves of the family home are filled with happy photos of Connie and her children spending time together.
Stenciled on the wall above the dining room table is a beautiful written message uniquely appropriate for this beautiful family.
‘Family isn’t always blood,’ it reads. ‘It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; The ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.’